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The Bureau of Public Service Reforms has held the third of the Lunch Time Reform Seminar series on the Common challenges of Public Procurement in Nigeria. The Seminar was held on Thursday 18th December, 2014 at the Auditorium of the National Commission for Colleges of Education, Central Business Area, Abuja.
In his opening address at the occasion, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Dr. Joe Abah said that Seminar Series is about education and dissemination of Government reforms and thus eliciting debate about key reform efforts of the Government to Civil Servants and Stakeholders.
He added that it is through Public Procurement that government delivers its capital projects. He opined that economy, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency in Public Procurement would mean that every Naira would go further towards the provision of public goods for citizens. Secondly, according to Dr Abah, a large proportion of fraud in the system is through inflated, bogus, and fictitious, undelivered or under- delivered projects and programmes.
Dr. Abah further revealed that since 2007, the Bureau of Public Procurement has saved the Nigerian people more than N528 Billion that would have been lost to inefficient contract processes, inflation and fraud.
The Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Engr Emeka Eze in his presentation listed the challenges of Public Procurement before the Public Procurement Act of 2007 as direct contract awarding without advertisements, undefined selection and award criteria, wrong Procurement notices/advertisements and excessively short deadlines for submission of tenders. Others are use of discriminatory /subjective criteria in bid examination, guided evaluation of tender and amendment of essential elements of the contract after award.
Mr. Eze also faulted advertisement inadequacies in the contents of information given to prospective contractors and consultants and improper needs assessment of projects. In addition, Mr. Eze further faulted the bids collection, submission and opening and examination and evaluation procedures by Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Mr. Eze enumerated other special challenges as political interferences, failure to be governed by principles of honesty, fairness, equity and transparency and non budgetary provision for some projects forwarded for certification.
He concluded by proffering solutions to these challenges which includes adherence to the Public Procurement Act of 2007 and effective use of Procurement Manual and Regulations.